Fireworks celebrate the lighting of the radio tower on top the the Scranton Times Building.

The Scranton Times Building downtown is ready to show its holiday cheer from the rooftop.

In keeping with tradition, the Christmas lights strung high on the radio tower at 149 Penn Ave. will be illuminated during a festive, family-friendly block party on Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Activities run from 3:30 to 7 p.m., with the lights going on at 6 sharp. Fireworks will follow, weather permitting.

“The Radio Tower Lighting has become a holiday tradition from our family to yours,” said Don Farley, president and publisher of Times-Shamrock Communications. “In 2020, The Scranton Times will celebrate 150 years of publishing, with 125 of those years being owned by the Lynett and Haggerty families.

“We are committed to the community and to the readers we serve, and with that we are proud to present this event annually. Community and family are important to us.”

The free event is set to feature meet-and-greets with Santa, his elves and beloved children’s characters and a seasonal exhibit in the outdoor Newseum.

A commemorative ornament marking the newspaper’s upcoming 150th anniversary will be available for purchase, and staff artist Kevin O’Neill will be in attendance to sign the keepsakes. “Lackawanna Memories,” a book of historical photos, will be for sale with author Chris Kelly signing copies.

A variety of vendors will be on hand with snacks and beverages for sale, including You’re Grounded Coffee with coffee and hot chocolate; Barnyard Cidery with bottled cider and warm, malt alcoholic cider; the Lion Brewery with beer samplings; Lucchi Family Wine Cellars with wine samplings plus wine for purchase by the glass and bottle; Auntie Anne’s Pretzels; and candy by Steamtown Sweets. Food trucks also will be there, including Eat Up Now, Truck’n Kitchen, Twisted Burgerz N Wrapz and Cibo’s Pizza.

Live performers will entertain the crowd on a stage outside the building, including Ballet Theatre of Scranton, Endless Mountains Barbershop, Lynnette’s Twirlerettes and the Scranton Cultural Center Youth Theatre Program, which will present songs from “Once Upon a Mattress.”

Inside the Times building, guests can watch classic holiday movies, and kids can pick up a take-home coloring contest. Outdoors, Santa’s Nice List and a holiday display in the former pressroom will be visible from the Spruce Street side of the building.

Run Around Scranton: The Ugly Sweater Edition begins immediately after the tower lighting. Participants can register from 4:45 to 5:45 at the Scranton Times Building. The two-mile run is free, and participants are encouraged to don ugly holiday sweaters.

The honor of throwing the switch to light the radio tower will fall to a few area children who were featured in the Weekend Times column “In Times of Need” in 2019, including 7-year-old Roman Davitt of Dickson City, who has dealt with complications of Type 1 diabetes; 20-month-old Jack Callahan of Dunmore, who has battled leukemia; and 13-year-old Isabella “Bella” Rebar of Eynon, who suffered a traumatic brain injury earlier this year.

Several roads will close for the event. The 100 block of Penn Avenue (between Lackawanna Avenue and Spruce Street) will close at 7 a.m. to allow for the Showmobile stage to be set up. Later in the day, the 200 block of Penn Avenue (between Spruce and Linden streets) as well as Spruce Street between Wyoming and Franklin avenues will shut down at 2:30 p.m., allowing traffic to flow for as long as possible before the event. The streets will begin to reopen following the conclusion of the event at 7 p.m.

This limited-edition book will be for sale at the annual Times Tower Lighting. Author Chris Kelly will sign copies that night.

If you go

  • What: The Times Tower Lighting
  • When: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 3:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Where: The Scranton Times Building, 149 Penn Ave.
  • Details: Admission to the family-friendly event is free. Fireworks will follow the tower lighting at 6 p.m., weather permitting. For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call 570-348-9100.


Schedule of performers

  • 4 p.m.: The Scranton Cultural Center Youth Theatre Program performing songs from “Once Upon a Mattress”
  • 4:30 p.m.: Ballet Theatre of Scranton
  • 5 p.m.: Endless Mountains Barbershop
  • 5:30 p.m.: Lynnette’s Twirlerettes